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String Art – Part 2: Step-by-step Tutorial

So if you are joining from my previous post, this is what you have so far, or you know something like this since you probably aren’t doing MY anniversary date! Ha

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Now you need to grab your tools. These are what I used and they seem to work well, and are cheap, so that’s a plus!

Crochet Thread (I used red and white for this project.)

18g Wire Nails (I used 3/4″ and like this length.)

Tacky Glue

Needle Nose Pliers

Hammer

That’s it really! This is a craft that is actually cheap, not one of those “why buy it when you can make it yourself for $96 in craft supplies” kind of crafts!

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I finished my last post by taping my design to my board. It was easy to line up the first page with the corner of the board because I know it was all square from the design studio. If you didn’t follow along from my previous post, tape your design down where you’d like.

Grab those needle nose pliers, really, your fingers will thank me!

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Using them to hold your nail, work a nail into each little circle of your design. Go left to right or right to left or however it works best, just make sure to go around each part of your design.

One thing I didn’t pay attention to when creating my “stencil” in the silhouette studio was that it was putting nails in each of the corners. The top of the 6 didn’t, so I adjusted to my liking.

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I had a little help along the way…

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After you have worked around the entire design you will need to pull up the paper and remove any bits left behind.

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Once you have it all done it will look something like this…

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Kind of neat just like this! Maybe try your nails closer together for a different look by leaving off the thread!

Now grab your string. Start with a knot and loop it around an outside nail. I keep the tail long so that I can tie my end piece to it.

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Next work around each nail by wrapping the thread around once, then moving to the next nail.

Once you get back to you knot, wrap around it once, then pull your thread to a nail across and wrap then continue until your design is filled in. For my numbers, I outlined the outside, then jumped to an inside nail and outline the centers of my 6, 9, and 10.

There is no right way or wrong way. Make a pattern or do it completely random as I have. I did try to keep everything pretty even, but I tried not to move in an obvious pattern for mine.

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I like to finish at my beginning thread and tie off with the original tail. Clip the end and move on.

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I used tacky glue to hide my tails. Start with a dot of glue at your knot, then pull a tail over to the closest nail. Put a dot of glue where the string hits that nail head.

Wrap the thread around the nail and then clip it close to the nail head. I used my fingernail to push the remaining bit under the head and hide it.

Ta-Da!! It really is that easy.

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String Art – Part 1: Using Silhouette Studio’s Rhinestone Feature

Oh my, it has been 3 months since my last post!! I have been busy, just a different kind of busy. 3 kids and the addition of a puppy has made for little time to sit down and post. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting though. I thought I’d share a new form of crafting for me and a hack to make it easier for all the Silhouette Cameo user’s (you must own the designer edition to use the rhinestone feature.)

I know not everyone has a Silhouette, so I will make this in 2 posts. If you’d like, skip on to String Art – Part 2: Step-by-step Tutorial.

A quick glance on Pinterest will quickly show you that string art is nothing new, but I really thought I was clever by using the rhinestone feature to make it easier. Clever, but not original I found! I really thought I had come up with a new idea, but another quick search proves that it is also nothing new, but it’s still handy, so I thought I would show you how I created this cute simple sign.

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I find it easiest to open a new page and start by adjusting it to the same size as my project. For this project, I was working with a scrap of cedar that measured 7″x19″.

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To resize the page, click on the icon on the top right button which is highlighted in blue above.

Type out whatever it is you plan to have done in string art, or pull up a picture you would like. I am going with our wedding date and simple hearts. If you are doing a font or a date like me, pick your font. Since I am using hearts in between my numbers, I added a few spaces to fit them in the next steps.

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The next step isn’t necessary, but I find it extremely useful for centering things. I create a rectangle and resize to the same size as my page.

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Once you have the rectangle to size. Click on the text and right click, then pick convert to path. Click the text again, then while holding shift click on the rectangle.

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Click on the Align Page Icon in the upper right bar.

On the align page, click align center. You could certainly wait until the end and align everything at once, but I find it easiest to do it along the way and adjust as needed.

Next I found a simple heart and copy/pasted it onto my design page. I have a set of heart svgs, but haven’t downloaded, so this was quicker. You can’t tell since it’s translucent, but there is actually a box around the heart. To get rid of it I used the trace function to get the outline. Select the heart in the trace area, then click trace outer edge. Afterward, click the solid heart and drag it off your work space. Right click the heart outline and click duplicate.

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To help space everything evenly, I created temporary rectangles between my numbers. I then clicked one of the rectangles, held the shift key, and clicked the heart. On the align page I again hit align center. Once this is done, delete the rectangles, select the hearts and numbers, and hit align middle. Select everything and group.

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I added the names to my design that I will be adding to my finished string art with paint.

We are finally ready to use the rhinestone function! Like I said before, you need the designer edition to have this option. Start by clicking the parts that you want done with string art. Then click edge for rhinestone effect. I left the size at the default which was 10ss. I increased my spacing to 0.25″. This is a personal preference. I have read that most string art tutorials say 0.5″, but that was too spread out. Even at 0.25″ I had a few wide gaps.

 

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The 6 had weird gaps on the inside point where the line comes down and meets the curve. I used the draw rhinestones section to add 2 additional rhinestones to finish the lines. Each design will be different, so you may have to play around a bit here.

This step is very important to be able to print. You need to fill in the rhinestone circles with a color, any color will work besides white, because you know… paper is white. Ha. I like to pick colors similar to my design and just sub grey for my white. For this design, it really isn’t necessary to use different colors, but if you were making a more intricate design it may be handy for keeping the lines straight.

Now print your page. You may have to print a few pages if your design is bigger than 8.5×11 as mine was. After printing my first page, I moved my design over, leaving a bit for overlapping and printed again. I was able to get my design on two sheet.

I left an overlap to help keep my design straight. Hold up to a light or uses a window to overlap your sheets and match up the dots and then tape.

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I used my first page that printed to line everything up on my board since I know it was spaced correctly for this piece. I put the sheet right on top matching the corner and edges, then taped it down so I can starting nailing.

There it is! I will show you how to make the string art in my next post!

Check out the step-by-step tutorial here!

 

 

Knit Hemming Hacks!

Working with knit can be hard. It can stretch and ripple when sewing. That can especially make it hard when it comes to hemming. It would be devastating to finish a garment, then go to hem and then you get ripples. I have 2 easy hacks for you. While a serger isn’t necessary, it certainly makes it easier and faster.

Hack #1~ Faux Hem Band

I love adding bands because they are easy and eliminate hemming. Are you catching on to the fact that I don’t like to hem? I even made an entire post about adding bands instead of hemming here. Well this takes easy to an entirely different level. Now you don’t even have to cut bands!

Here I am working on sleeves. I want a 1/2″ cuff and I will be stitching with a 1/4″ seam allowance, so I am marking 3/4″ from the raw edge.  Note: depending on your pattern and the seam allowance in the pattern, you may need to add length while cutting.

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Now fold your hem wrong sides together and press.

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Keeping the original fold wrong sides together, fold it back another 3/4″ right sides together. My original fold line is now at the top. You will now stitch the edge all around at 1/4″. If using your serger, stitch with the fabric against the blade but not cutting any off.

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Fold the seam allowance up and the cuff down and press.

Voila! Pretty faux hem bands!

Hack #2~ Circle Skirts Made Easy

The nice thing about circle skirts is that they are already easy. You don’t have to gather or pleat to get them to fit your bodice, they are made to be the same width. The hems though can be pesky. I have seen tips that state to sew a basting stitch at the desired hem allowance and use that as a guide to fold, but that still leaves you with too much fabric on the raw edge when you press it up and you also have to go back and remove the basting stitch. This can be done with a serger as I have shown, or even a basting stitch 1/4″ from the raw edge. (If using a basting stitch, you will have to lightly pull the bobbin thread to gather until your raw edge fits nicely.)

Working with my serger, I slightly increased the differential feed which caused the fabric to gather slightly behind the presser foot. You don’t want a lot of gather, just slight. It is also helpful to start with a long tail and end with one.

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Once I got all the way around my skirt, instead of sewing over the beginning thread, I veered off the fabric and left a long tail.

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Without doing any adjustments, this is what I had. It’s practically hemming itself! 😉  You may need to adjust the gather around the skirt. I find it easiest to start directly opposite my start and finish stitches.

I had my differential a tad too high, so I had to let out the gathers just a bit. I did this by holding my hem in place with my left hand and then gently letting out the gathers with my right hand. This is why it’s important to have the long tails at the start and finish. They allow you to adjust if needed.

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It’s so pretty already! No gathers or folds, just a nice flat hem!

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Once you get to the end, you may have a bit extra gathered. Again, just let it out with the tails that you left yourself.

Wonder clips are amazing for knits and sergers and super handy because they have measurement units on the underside.

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So pretty! I was tempted to show Miss A her dress like this, but she would probably love it and be disappointed that I couldn’t leave it!

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Now head to your sewing machine and stitch with a long straight stitch. I was at 3.5

Hit it with a little steam when you are done and you have yourself a beautifully hemmed circle skirt!

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You can grab the Gloria Party Dress Pattern and Circle Skirt Add-on that I used and head on over to Peekaboopages.com for my tutorial on adding this adorable bunny cutout, then come on back here to hem your creations!

Lullaby Line by Peek-a-boo Patterns

How adorable?!? I was recently part of a test to update the Lullaby Line Hats and Mitts pattern, and now the new gown, and I love them both!

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The mittens are perfect for keeping those tiny nails away from her face and the hat is adorable as well as practical for keeping her warm from drafts brought in with the North Dakota winter.

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The gown is raglan style with a snap placket at the left shoulder. There are fold over mittens on the gown and options to finish the bottom of the gown with a band or ties. It is available in sizes preemie-6 months.

I love gowns for night time diaper changes, because let’s face it, we aren’t always the most alert when it’s 3 a.m. and we’d rather be sleeping.

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Photographing this age has proven to be a challenge, but I got a few good ones before it went down hill…

The Lullaby Line Knotted Gown can be found here, and is on sale for Thrifty Thursday (2/2) and the Lullaby Line Hats and Mitts can be found here.

The hat comes with 3 versions: basic(pictured on Miss E), single knot, and double knot. It comes in sizes preemie-12 months.

Adventurer Raglan Sweatshirt – Made by Jack’s Mum

I always love when there is a chance to sew for R. Boys do tend to get the short of the stick when it comes to handmade clothing, but luckily, that is changing. PDF pattern designers have really started to make modern clothing for boys. That is not to say that there haven’t always been patterns for boys, just that there hasn’t always been so many looks to choose from.

This sweatshirt is a classic raglan style with a little spin. Really there are 4 options when making this top. You can stick with the classic, add a button placket along one sleeve seam, add button plackets along BOTH sleeve seams, or add a split collar. I love a pattern with options!

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I will be completely honest, I wasn’t too sure about the double button neckline that I was picked to test. At least on my guy. I feared it would be too girly. I was wrong!! He looks so handsome! I love this French Terry I picked up a few years ago at Modern Textiles and the cozy sweatshirt material. R loved it too.

I can not get over how big he is getting and what a fun little man this kid is growing up to be. This fit of this sweatshirt is perfect! I love that it can easily be more dressy as I have done, or with some fun fabric would be great for running around the yard.

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Like I said, this pattern comes with a few options for the neckline. Regular neckband, single or double button neck, or split collar button neck. It also comes in a nice size range: premie-12 years. A fun feature is the pocket! It is hard to see in my pictures, but there is a pouch like pocket on the front with cute pocket openings!

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Check out more testers pictures here. This pattern can be quick and easy if doing the basic raglan, but even if you decide to go with the button neckline or the split collar, it doesn’t take too long and is probably advance beginner. The instructions are easy to follow and nice a clear.

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Catch it now while it’s still on sale through tomorrow (1/22) and check out her other great patterns while you are at it! Adventurer Raglan SweatshirtMade By Jack’s Mum

Pattern Weights – Do you use them?

 

 

There are various ways to cut out a pattern. You can pin it, weight it, or use tailor’s chalk to name a few. I have always used weights and a rotary cutter and mat. Well, I should say that I have always used something to weigh them down, but never an action pattern weight. I have used soup cans, cell phones, remotes, beer soda cans…. but never anything that was actually made for the sole purpose of pattern weights. What I have found the most useful, were washers from a yard game.

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They stacked nicely and were a good weight. So I made my first ever pattern weights! You can check out the process over on Peek-a-boo’s blog here.

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I hope you enjoy!

Grow With Me – The Fitted Crib Quilt by Rachel Rossi Designs

I’m still here! I have been soaking up the final weeks of my maternity leave before returning to work tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s already been 12 weeks! Everly is growing by the day. Soon she will be moving into the crib, which is currently in toddler bed form for Miss 3, and handmade bedding was on my to-do list. Rachel Rossi Designs to the rescue! She has created a quilt pattern that is also a fitted crib cover. The design is truly ingenious!

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Safety of course was kept in mind when designing this pattern since loose blankets and quilts in the crib are not recommended. The top is pieced like a quilt, then layered with a middle and backing, then quilted just like any quilt. Then the corners are formed to wrap around the mattress and a casing is formed for the elastic. The finished quilt wraps nicely around the mattress and is a nice snug fit.  Surprisingly, this went together rather quickly. I mean, 8 hours for a quilt isn’t bad in my opinion (plus I’m a beginner.) The fact that there isn’t binding speeds things up.

Or if you don’t have a need for a crib quilt, you can quilt and bind just as you would any quilt. It is the perfect size to fit the top of a twin bed, or a nice lap quilt.

For a beginner quilter, I found this pattern so easy to follow! It goes together beautifully and looks amazing in the end!

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If you do make the fitted crib quilt version and your not so little anymore baby has now outgrown the crib, you can easily cut the edges off all around and bind and you have a wonderful keepsake!

Get the quilt for yourself while it’s on sale for only $3 (through 12/23/16) here.

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Glad to see I’m not the only one with bite marks on our crib!!

Quilt Specifics-

Level: Advanced Beginner—Intermediate

Fabric Requirements:

• Background (Pink): 2-3/4 yards

• Ribbon 1 (Navy): 1/4 yard

• Ribbon 2 (Navy Triangles): 1/4 yard

• Ribbon 3 (Navy Polka Dots): 1/4 yard • Ribbon 4 (Coral): 1/4 yard

• Back: 2 yards (45″ wide)

• Flannel (optional if you’d like to add some weight. Do not use batting for the fitted crib quilt): 2 yards

• Elastic: 60″ of 1/2″ wide elastic

 

Supplies:

Rotary Cutter | Rotary Mat | Quilting Ruler | Sewing Machine | Matching Thread | Pins | Iron | Scissors | Erasable Fabric Marker

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Teddy was my happy model, and I think he did a great job!